San Francisco Giants 2020 Top-25 Prospects
Recently, this San Francisco Giants organization has been in a rough place. Following the World Series wins in 2010, 2012, and 2014, most of their core either left or are much lesser players due to age or reduced skills. That trickle-down effect bled into the minors as well where San Francisco had one of the worst farm systems in the league and severely lacked any impact talent. You’ll notice that the below top-25 San Francisco Giants prospects lack a ton of depth, but there’s now some star power at the top that makes this a legit top-10 for dynasty leagues.
Overall System Grade: C+
Minor League Affiliates
Triple-A: Sacramento – Pacific Coast League
Double-A: Richmond – Eastern League
Advanced Single-A: San Jose – California League
Low Single-A: Augusta – South Atlantic League
Short Single-A: Salem-Keizer – Northwest League
Rookie: Arizona League (2), Dominican Summer League (2)
All other team top-25 prospect rankings can be found here.
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Top-25 San Francisco Giants Prospects – 2020
1. Marco Luciano, SS
Every season there are a handful of prospects that are extra buzzy and really see their hype train go full bore down the tracks. Marco Luciano is one of those prospects. Signed for $2.6 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2018, Luciano dominated the Arizona League as a 17-year old in 2019, hitting .322 with 21 extra-base hits and 10 home runs in 38 games, earning him a late-season promotion to the short-season Single-A Northwest League for nine games. There was already some lofty expectations surrounding Luciano when he signed but he broke through those and then some with his debut performance.
For anyone that has seen Luciano live or in video, the first thing most notice is the elite raw power. Luciano has already displayed easy plus raw power with the projection for 70-grade raw in time. His swing is lightning-quick from the right side with quick hands and a direct swing path through the zone. His swing is explosive, yet controlled with natural loft created by a slight uppercut swing path. He’s far from just a masher too, showing a good feel for hitting and solid strike zone awareness.
The speed isn’t likely to remain this high moving forward, but Luciano projects as a 55/60-hit, 70-power, 45/50 speed prospect with a decent chance of sticking at shortstop longterm. If he’s forced to move off, the outfield is the most logical landing spot.
2. Joey Bart, C
If anyone can come close to the offensive upside of Adley Rutschman, it’s Joey Bart. And before Rutschman came along, Bart was the top catching prospect in the game, especially for dynasty. When you compare the two, Bart isn’t far off and has a very similar power projection. From the right side, Bart generates borderline double-plus raw power with a powerful frame top to bottom and strong hip rotation that creates plus torque. That power has consistently translated into game power, hitting 29 homers in his final 101 games at Georgia Tech and 29 more in his first 130 games as a professional.
For a bigger guy, his swing doesn’t get too long and Bart has displayed above-average bat speed with good barrel control. In addition to his 30-plus homer power, Bart should add in a respectable batting average as well, likely in the .270-.280 range more often than not. That’s the only real difference between him and Rutschman offensively. Both have 30-plus homer power but Bart’s batting average upside isn’t quite as high. But still, this is a offensively-gifted catcher in a time when offense at the position is drying up.
Multiple HBPs, breaking a finger mid-season and then his thumb in the Arizona Fall League, slowed his development in 2019, but Bart is a very advanced hitter that should make his debut with San Francisco later in the 2020 season. And after that, it shouldn’t be too long before we see Bart emerge as one of the top offensive catchers in the game.
3. Hunter Bishop, OF
Once you get past the elite tier of the 2019 FYPD crop, Hunter Bishop’s power/speed blend gives him one of the highest upsides in the class. The 10th overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Arizona State University, Bishop is a big 6’5/210 corner outfielder with plus athleticism, plus power, and plus speed. When you combine his final season at Arizona State last Spring and his first season in the minors last summer, Bishop combined for 27 homers and 20 steals in 89 games. The average dipped drastically to .229 but a Bondsian 26.0% walk rate gave him a robust .438 OBP. While that walk rate will be hard to maintain, Bishop has long shown a keen batting eye and should be able to maintain a walk rate well above 10% moving forward.
But unless you get your rocks off with walks, you’re here for the power and speed potential. Bishop’s swing is tailormade for power from the left side with plus bat speed from his quick hands and plenty of natural loft. A lot of that power is to his pull side, however, and Bishop has struggled to hit for a high average outside of his final season at Arizona State. Although both considered plus right now, Bishop’s power projects better in my eyes longterm than his speed with the potential for some 25/20 seasons at peak. As long as he can make consistent enough contact, that power/speed profile should flourish. Those in OBP leagues should value him a tad higher.
4. Heliot Ramos, OF
The professional career of Heliot Ramos has been wildly inconsistent. But through all the ups and downs, he’s been able to flash the upside that made him a first-round pick and top-100 overall prospect nearly universally for the last few seasons. Ramos’ 2017 professional debut was nothing short of spectacular with a .348/6/10 line in 35 Arizona League games. But then 2018 was filled with struggles and injuries as one of the youngest players in the Single-A South Atlantic League. So really, it’s hard to read into his 2018 struggles too much.
When looking at Ramos’ raw tools, plus raw power is what stands out the most. A higher groundball rate has limited his in-game power so far, but Ramos’ est. FB distance has been slowly trending up since being drafted. With some added loft, there’s 25-homer upside here. Both his hit tool and speed grade at around average in my opinion, but the efficiency hasn’t been there so far on the bases with a measly 57.8% success rate. That will need to improve moving forward if Ramos wants to consistently add 10-15 steals to his .270ish average and 25 homers.
5. Alexander Canario, OF
While he might be ranked 5th right now, it wouldn’t shock me if Alexander Canario was as high as 2nd on this list my mid-season. Here’s why. Out of all teenage prospects with 50 or more fly balls hit in 2019, nobody had a higher estimated fly ball distance than Canario. And frankly, it wasn’t really that close.
Canario was nearly nine feet ahead of 2nd place Julio Rodriguez. Everyone loves the prospects ranked 2-4 and all three are in my top-10 overall right now. Canario isn’t quite on their level overall, but his power is trending up in a big way. Not only did his estimated fly ball distance rise from 2018, but his flyball rate jumped over 10% as well. With his plus raw power and quick right-handed stroke, 30-homers annually is very attainable, especially if he continues to add loft and bulk. There’s still plenty of projection left on his frame too, currently listed at 6’1/165.
While his power is Canario’s most notable tool, both his hit tool and speed project to be Major League average to above average as well, especially the hit tool. There’s still some work to be done with his approach and pitch recognition, but Canario projects as a 55-hit, 60-power, 50-speed outfielder down the road. With added bulk, that might turn into 45-grade speed, but the offensive upside here is quite high,
6. Luis Matos, OF
Here’s another San Francisco Giants outfield prospect firmly on the rise. In fact, I’ve seen Luis Matos well within some top-100 rankings and even inside a few top-50’s. I’m not quite there yet myself, but I’d be lying if I said the upside here wasn’t intriguing. A 2018 international signing out of Venezuela, Matos dominated the Dominican Summer League with a 1.000 OPS, 33 extra-base hits, and 20 steals in 55 games, earning him a promotion to the Arizona League for five games.
Unlike the five prospects before him here, Matos isn’t a big power bat. No, he’s more of a hit/speed prospect, but with some modest power to boot. With his average to above-average raw power, Matos projects as a 15-homer type right now, maybe getting up to 20 with some added bulk on his frame. With that being said, there are some approach issues here. Not so much in the swing and miss department as he’s shown an advanced approach there with a 10.7% strikeout rate last season, but with his batted ball profile. Matos hit the ball into the ground around 45% of the time last season and his pull rate was over 60%.
Those are correctable and there’s plenty of time to fix those as Matos is several years away. If you wanna stash him for a few years, the hit/speed profile gives him a chance to provide decent value in fantasy and any additional power he develops would be gravy.
7. Jairo Pomares, OF
You’ll notice that there are a fair amount of breakout prospects in this top-25, including 19-year-old Cuban outfielder, Jairo Pomares. Signed for $975k out of Cuba in 2018, Pomares had a dynamic debut in the Arizona League, hitting .368 in 37 games to earn a late-season promotion to the Northwest League. He didn’t display big power or speed right away, but trust me, there’s more on the way. With that said, I’m not expecting Pomares to be a major speed asset, but should be around a 50-grade runner once his development is over.
The power, on the other hand, can be an asset. From what I’ve seen, I think there’s a chance for plus raw power here with Pomares with a explosive right-handed swing that generates natural loft due to his slight uppercut swing path. And what’s great about Pomares is that he doesn’t sell out for power either and could be a 55-hit outfielder as well. So, all in all, Pomares has the potential to develop into a 55-hit, 60-power, 50-speed asset that can help out across the board offensively. And with the bigger names ahead of him soaking up all the spotlight, the price tag here is still very reasonable in dynasty leagues.
8. Will Wilson, SS
The Angels really focused on stocking up their positional prospects over the last few years, both in the draft and internationally. That continued in the 2019 draft with them taking Will Wilson, a shortstop from NC State, 15th overall. But before Mr. Wilson could even enjoy his first Spring Training with the Angels, they traded him along with Zack Cozart to the San Francisco Giants in early-December, in what was essentially a salary dump.
Now, Wilson is different from other prospects on this list. He lacks any truly plus tools, but is solid across the board, on both sides of the ball and won’t hurt you in any one category. Defensively, he’s not great at shortstop, but has enough range and arm to stick there for now. Down the road, however, second base projects more as his defensive home. Regardless of which position he ends up at, Wilson has the offensive tools to make an impact. He displayed above-average power during his time at NC State, cranking 39 home runs in 175 games, including 31 in his last two seasons there.
That power translated to the minors as well with 18 extra-base hits (5 HR) in 46 games for Orem in the Pioneer League. With his quick bat speed and natural loft in his swing, Wilson projects as a 20 homer type of hitter with maybe some seasons in the mid-20’s at peak. Above-average contact skills should bring a .270+ batting average along for the ride as well. There’s not a ton of speed here but enough to approach double-digit steals annually. Quietly, Wilson projects as an above-average middle infielder that should have some sneaky fantasy appeal down the road.
9. Luis Toribio, 3B
So far we’ve talked about a ton of outfielders, a catcher, and a couple of shortstops. Still to come are a ton of pitchers and even more outfielders, but right now let’s talk about the only third base prospect in this system that currently excites me, Luis Toribio. What I said about Pomares above fits here with Toribio in that he hit for a good average in the Arizona League, and displayed an advanced approach, but didn’t hit for much power after showing plenty in his 2018 debut. He doesn’t have the same speed as Pomares and is a below-average runner in general, but Toribio bat and strong arm from the hot corner are his carrying tools presently.
From the left side, Toribio has displayed above-average contact skills and strong strike zone awareness. The swing is quick and direct through the zone and creates some natural loft. Once he’s done adding bulk and maturing physically, Toribio could be a 50/55-hit, 55-power third baseman that hits for a solid batting average and 20-25 home run annually.
10. Seth Corry, LHP
The 2019 season wasn’t just filled with breakouts from hitting prospects in this system. Down in the Single-A South Atlantic League, Seth Corry enjoyed one of the biggest breakout seasons for any pitching prospect in 2019. In 122.2 innings, Corry dazzled with a 1.76 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 12.6 K/9. Quite the improvement for someone that walked more batters than he struck out in his professional debut in 2017. Corry’s command and control have improved since the draft, but both still grade as below average right now and are a big reason why I’m not ranking him higher.
If he continues to show improvement there, Corry possesses SP3/4 upside with a three-pitch arsenal that includes an above-average to plus fastball and sweeping curveball along with a changeup that projects as Major League average. While the curve flashes above-average to plus at times, Corry has been a tad inconsistent with the offering. The pieces are here for a useful Major League rotation piece, but Corry still has a ways to go before he reaches that level.
11. Mauricio Dubon, 2B/SS
Although he’s only 24 years old, Mauricio Dubon has been around for a while. The 2019 season marked his 7th in professional baseball and his first in the San Francisco system, his third system so far following Boston and Milwaukee. The Giants acquired the diminutive 6’/160 shortstop from the Brewers at the trade deadline for reliever Drew Pomeranz and Dubon looks to be a part of their 2020 plans after a solid 2019 campaign at Triple-A and holding his own in a late-season stint with the Giants. Dubon hit .302 with 20 homers and 10 steals at Triple-A and followed that up with a .274/4/3 line in 30 games at the Major League level.
Do not let those 24 combined home runs fool you for a damn second. Dubon doesn’t have that type of power. In fact, he’s a below-average power bat projects as a 10-15 homer bat at most for me. If you’re targeting Dubon, it’s going to be mostly for his above-average hit tool and speed that gives him .280/20+ upside in AVG and SB to pair with those 10-15 home runs. Is he a top-flight middle infield option? Absolutely not. But Dubon has enough offensive potential to provide late-round value while not killing you in any one category.
12. Logan Webb, RHP
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before in an article or two, every top-25 has a handful of guys that I would rank higher if they improved their command and changeup/3rd pitch. Logan Webb is one of those guys in this San Francisco system. While the command and control have shown slight improvement over the last year or two, Webb is still primarily a two-pitch pitcher with an above-average fastball and plus slider. That above-average grade on his heater might be a tad generous too as the pitch borders on 50-grade, averaging 93 without a ton of movement. The changeup has flashed average at times with some fade, but Webb has been very inconsistent with the offering. And honestly, he’s been inconsistent in general outside of his slider, but his Tommy John surgery and PED suspension might have something to do with that.
To me, Webb would profile better as a reliever where he could scrap the changeup and work with the fastball/slider combination with that fastball likely ticking up in velocity in shorter stints. He’s also shown a tad more velocity in the past too.
13. Sean Hjelle, RHP
As a 2nd round pick in 2019, Sean Hjelle immediately became an interesting prospect. Not just because he was taken in the 2nd round though. The fact that he toes the rubber at 6’11 has a little something to do with that. Being 6’11 is great and all, but how many 6’11 pitchers (or close to that height) have we seen that have succeeded at the Major League level? Sure, Randy Johnson is one of the best to ever fire a fastball, but the list outside of him is short. And furthermore, command and control issues often plague taller pitchers like this due to inconsistent mechanics. Not Hjelle though. He’s shown the ability to repeat his delivery with any major mechanical issues and has displayed average command and control.
If that remains the case, his arsenal suggests a #4 starter ceiling. Hjelle sits in the low 90’s consistently with good armside run and will mix in a trio of secondaries, none of which stand out from the rest. If he can develop a 2nd above-average offering (slider is closest), I’d like Hjelle a bit more. But for now, he’s a back-end starter for me.
14. Franklin Labour, OF
Lost in all the breakouts by the likes of Luciano, Canario, Matos, and others was the first-half breakout of Franklin Labour. The 21-year-old Dominican tore through the short-season Northwest League, hitting .307 with 14 home runs in 41 games. Being 21 and dominating younger competition does raise some questions about the legitimacy of the performance, especially as Labour struggled mightily in 31 games in the Single-A South Atlantic League after a mid-season promotion. I’m not trying to scare everyone off of him because there’s a chance for 50-hit, 55-power here, but since Labour has very minimal speed, he’s going to have to hit to have any fantasy value down the road.
15. Jaylin Davis, OF
If cheap power is your game, Jaylin Davis should be your name. Well, a name you target in deeper leagues. Plus raw power has been Davis’ calling card during his time in the Minnesota and San Francisco systems, but an aggressive approach limited how much of that raw power translated to in-game power. Until 2019 that is. Yes, the juicy Triple-A ball helped, but I’m not sure that’s the sole reason for his 35-homer breakout season. Davis’ estimated flyball distance had been trending up before Triple-A along with his walk rate which is exactly what he needed to do to tap into that raw power. Showing additional patience and waiting for a pitch to drive has been crucial for Davis unleashing more of that plus raw power.
Will that continue at the Major League level? We’ll see. But there’s a chance he plays a significant role in San Francisco’s outfield this season. Long-term, Davis projects as a 45-hit, 55-power hitter with enough speed to chip in 5-10 steals over a full season.
16. Logan Wyatt, 1B
I’ll admit, this isn’t going to be the sexiest review. In every sense of the term, Logan Wyatt is a floor prospect. On looks alone, Wyatt looks the part of a slugging first baseman, but in reality, he’s not that type of hitter. He’s shown above-average raw power in batting practice, but a groundball heavy approach has limited his in-game power throughout his collegiate and professional career. With more loft, who knows, maybe he could be a 20 homer type at peak, but for now, I don’t see more than home run totals in the teens to pair with a respectable batting average. He’s a solid hitter, but in more of the .270/15 mold than a big mashing first baseman. Where Wyatt adds value is in OBP leagues due to his rock-solid walk rate that resulted in more walks than strikeouts at Louisville and nearly the same in his professional debut.
17. Grant McCray, OF
Once you get outside the top-10 or so in this system, there’s not a ton of projectable prospects. However, one that does fit that projectable label is San Francisco’s 2019 3rd round pick, outfielder Grant McCray. Plus speed is McCray’s most notable asset which he showed off early and often in the Arizona League, attempting 30 steals in 48 games. The problem is, 13 of those attempts ended with him trotting back to the dugout and one more out on the scoreboard. It’s obvious that the speed is there, but McCray will obviously need to improve that efficiency. But the upside doesn’t stop there. McCray has plus bat speed from the left side and can spray the ball to all fields with gap power at present. He’ll often get out on his front foot early at time, limiting his power, but if he can learn to stay back and add a little loft, there’s 10-15 homer potential here once he adds bulk. McCray is incredibly raw, but the upside makes him worth monitoring in dynasty leagues and maybe even using a late-round pick on in first-year player drafts.
18. Gregory Santos, RHP
A former Red Sox prospect, Gregory Santos has shown improvement during his time in the Giants system, but is a major work in progress. First, the positives. Santos features two above-average to plus pitches in his low to mid-90’s fastball that features both run and sink along with his sharp slider with two-plane break. In addition, Santos has trimmed his walk rate considerably since his debut. Alright, positives over. Santos might have improved his control, but the command is still a work in progress and he’s yet to show that he can develop a serviceable changeup. He’s also never been one to miss a ton of bats, even with the fastball/slider combination. With inconsistent command, a below-average changeup, and not the greatest track record of durability, Santos projects as more of a reliever to me right now where his fastball/slider combo would play well in middle relief.
19. Kai-Wei Teng, RHP
Signed in December of 2017 out of Taiwan by the Minnesota Twins, Kai-Wei Teng wasn’t a high-profile acquisition, but you can’t argue with the results since. After posting a 3.59 ERA in his professional debut, the 6’4/260 Teng dropped that over two full runs down to 1.58 in 79.2 Single-A innings split between the Minnesota and San Francisco systems as he was sent out west mid-season in the Sam Dyson trade. His profile runs three pitches deep with all projecting as average or better offerings. The best of the bunch is his changeup which borders on plus, but Teng’s low-90’s fastball has proven to be an effective pitch due to his lower arm slot, armside run, and solid command. As of now, he looks like a great acquisition for the Giants with back-end starter upside.
20. Sandro Fabian, OF
Outside of having a soap opera caliber name, Sandro Fabian hasn’t really shown much development that excites me for his future fantasy value. With that said, there are some tools here that do give him a path to fantasy value if they ever decide to peak out from the black hole they’ve been hiding in. Fabian has a quick right-handed swing with above-average raw power potential. But an aggressive approach and rising groundball rate in 2017/2018 really limited that power. The flyball rate is still hanging out in the mid-30% range, but Fabian has raised his walk rate from a puke-worthy 2.0% in 2017 up to 8.3% last season while keeping his strikeouts in check. That’s a good start, but Fabian is still far from a finished product that is more projection than anything right now.
21. Jake Wong, RHP
Jake Wong is an arm that I’ve had a hard time ranking. He was a 3rd round pick out of Grand Canyon University in 2018, a school that doesn’t exactly play against top-notch collegiate competition. But hey, he showed enough promise there to be taken within the top-100 overall picks in 2018 and we’ve seen plenty of arms have successful Major League careers from smaller schools. Wong might not have a ridiculously high upside, but he does have the arsenal that would play as a #4 or #5 starter at the Major League level. Wong will sit in the low 90’s with his fastball, topping out around 95-96 and will mix in a curveball and changeup from a higher 3/4 arm slot. All three project as Major League average pitches with his fastball and curveball potentially being 55-grade offerings for him. He’s yet to miss many bats, but Wong has kept his walks in check showing more control than command at present.
22. Chris Shaw, 1B/OF
Chris Shaw is a prospect that borders on the “Quad-A” label for me. He’s shown plus power throughout his minor league career, swatting over 20 in every season and averaging 31.2 homers per 150 games, but Shaw has struggled mightily at the Major League level and is now 26 years old without a spot with the Giants. He’s proven he can produce in the high minors, but at the same time, his numbers don’t stand out in the offensive-laden Pacific Coast League. In fact, outside of his plus power, nothing else about Shaw’s profile stands out.
As mentioned, there’s plus raw power with a left-handed swing that produces natural loft and backspin. Until the Majors, Shaw has never struck out at an insanely high rate, usually sitting around 25% or so and the walk rate has been average at 7.5%. His swing can get a tad long at times though which will likely continue to be exposed by Major League pitching. Even if he can step into the starting lineup, I’m not sure the upside is more than a #6 hitter that hits .240-.250 with 20-25 home runs. Remember, San Francisco’s ballpark has been notorious for suppressing left-handed pull power for everyone not named Barry Bonds. Brandon Belt anyone?
23. Blake Rivera, RHP
Hailing from little known Wallace State Community College in Alabama, Blake Rivera is a 6’4 right-hander taken in the 4th round of the 2018 draft. On stuff alone, he’d likely be in the teens here but below-average command and control have plagued Rivera since his collegiate days. There’s also some added effort at the end of his delivery. With better command, Rivera has the stuff to develop into a back-end starter with three useable Major League offerings headlined by a plus 12-6 hammer curveball. But until then, I’m projecting him as a reliever. He’s one to keep an eye on in deeper dynasty leagues, but nothing more than that.
24. Diego Rincones, OF
This is your typical right field profile. However, since signing out of Venezuela in 2015, Diego Rincones has shown more of a hit over power profile, never hitting more than seven homers in any season. All in all, he’s hit just 19 home runs in his 290 games as a professional. Hitting the ball in the air hasn’t really been an issue, nor has he been too aggressive. Rincones has displayed an advanced approach at the plate with a low 12.1% career strikeout rate and has been above a 40% fly-ball rate in each of the last three seasons. So there must be mechanical issues right? No, not really. Rincones has solid bat speed and a fairly smooth swing, although, I have noticed that his hands tend to drift at times. If Rincones can translate more of his raw power into games, a 50-hit, 55-power profile isn’t out of the question. But until that power translates more consistently, he’s merely a “wait and see” prospect in dynasty leagues.
25. Abiatal Avelino, SS
After seven years in the New York Yankees system, Abiatal Avelino came over to the San Francisco Giants in 2018 after posting a .283/15/27 line in 126 games in the upper minors. Another .283 average followed in 2019 with 12 homers and 17 steals in 121 games in Triple-A. Two extremely short Major League stints are mixed in there but Avelino hasn’t received any form of extended playing time, nor should he have. What Avelino is as a player is a decent defender with an average hit tool, above-average speed, and 40-grade power. This profile is better served as a back-up infielder which is likely how he’ll be used moving forward.
Media Credit: Robert Robinson, MinorGraphs via Prospects Live
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